Inspiration Corner
A collection of write-ups from experiences of life that inspire, empower, influence & trigger positive values, habits & mindsets.


Inspiration to build at least one long term friendship: 5 Key relationship lessons I learnt from my long lasting friendships

Given that there are 7.5 billion people in the world, there must be at least a handful of people on each of our frequencies out there. Whether or not we realise it, what we earn, we value. (By earn, I mean gain something by working for it) What is given to us without questioning, we take for granted. The degree to which we may take something for granted depends on how conscious (rather unconscious) we are, but it still remains one of the factors that determines our course of lives... in other words, our destiny. And what does this have to do with friendship, you wonder? Well, read on.
There was a time when I was on some kind of a quest to know all factors that determine our destiny, and each piece I solved in the puzzle was another major victory in my head. That was a long time ago, and I was another person. This piece of the puzzle- what we earn, we value- hits true in this regard for me- friends.

There are quite a few school friends who I still stay in touch with, so it is not to say I didn't make good friends while I was young. However, it was never that I spoke to someone at school, magic happened, and I stayed thick of friends with them ever since. With almost ten years of my schooling going by with a ton of acquaintances and hardly a few close ones, it seems like a given thing that I would pay good attention to my close friendships. Coming to think of it, none of my current long lasting friendships ever had the best-friends-forever signs on the day I met them. Then again, maybe it's the effort that makes it all the more special. Special people are rare to come by, but when they do, you realise it was worth the wait. Things I've learned from the long lasting friendships that I've since built, well are quite something for me, and here goes:

1. Gets you bonded, gets you freedom

Long Lasting Friendships
Having deep friendships need accountability from your end, and understanding from the other end if it has to survive a long time. So while it might initially be absolutely energy and time consuming (though luckily this never seems so), it is something that gives you a freedom to explore life at a deeper level later on. These "friends" can be parents, siblings, teachers, or just about anyone who you share a significant amount of time and life with. So when I say friendships, it could be anyone you consider your closest people. While it might appear that freedom is a far word when you've got people close to you, it indeed is quite the opposite.

2. Brings Longevity

I'm less than thirty years old and hence definitely don't speak from experience, but there was a TED talk which I watched recently, where they were discussing factors that significantly contributed to longevity, and interestingly, studies showed that one of the places in the world where longevity was a given was the social networks of the people who lived there. It is said that the people of that town (I forget which), have four other people assigned to them at the time of their birth, who are also born around the same time as them. This group of five are "assigned" to be a group who are there for each other throughout their lifetime- irrespective of who their other friends are, who their spouses are, and who their family is. Having four other people for you at ANY point of time in life can give you a deep sense of security, a sense of well-being and well-connectedness, all of which helps slow down aging. No surprises why the people of this town are able to live beyond a hundred with great health and ease. Need I say more, as to why building long lasting friendships are good for you?

3. Wins games for you

Whenever we had quizzes and games at college, a friend of mine and I would team up, and would manage to win every single game we teamed up for. Initially we thought we had the "luck" factor as a team, then we attributed it to our synced energies, and hit upon the real reason for our wins only months later. The reason we won, it turns out, was that our thinking was poles apart! Anything she thought, I could never think of- and vice versa; and when we were a team, we'd got it all covered! So if you thought that friends are those who think exactly like you and agree with you all the time, think again (for all you know it might win you games - and who knows, maybe even life.)

4. Adds perspective

If you've ever had a long friendship (and a true one), you already know that it is quite impossible that two people - no matter how close they are- can evolve in the exact same way. When somebody you spent 20 hours once with (due to same work place or same school or college or neighbourhood) slowly moves apart and you get to meet them once a week instead, it takes understanding to keep the bond you've built over the years. And when someone so dear to you has evolved in an entirely different way from you, since you have no filter, no guard against this person, you would be able to see certain things about life from their perspective- even if your own is entirely different. There's nothing that can add more flavour to life than being able to see the same thing through different lenses, and who better to show them to you than people you trust thoroughly. Unless this kind of a bond exists with another, it is entirely impossible to see anything in life in any other perspective than your own- and unless you're an enlightened being, some perspective-any perspective-should help in your journey of life.

5. Adds meaning

Forget all of the above points. If you have a vested interest towards everything, at least friendships shouldn't be one of them. Friendships at least, are just because. No reason, no season. On a day when you've hit your new zero (after scaling your first peak and then starting at the base of the next peak I mean), whom would you rather talk to? On a day you've experienced deep joy, whom would you share it with? Hell, whom would you rather have accomplish a great milestone of your life with (be it becoming a parent, or your first published book)? Who would you share your everyday joys of life with? Who would you want to talk to, when you decide it's time to break the silence? (Silence only grows more appealing with time, so who could possibly say something that's better than even silence?!) Well well, life would rather seem barren without those few who've made it lush. And that's more than what the world could offer, if it had anything to offer at all. Like lyrics to the tunes in a song, friendship is what adds meaning to life- which would otherwise just be a melodious tune, without any meaning to it!

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 21st June 2017.
Sandhya Nagaraj
Sandhya Nagaraj is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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